Negotiating A Raise

When I left my last position, I did not negotiate properly. I felt that I was underpaid compared to others (since payroll was under my duties, I saw what everyone else made.) I gave a two-week notice, but gave them the opportunity to keep me on at a 20% higher salary. They did not flinch.

I had wanted to start my own business anyway, but I should have waited until my wife started receiving paychecks first. Since leaving, I have read how to properly negotiate for a raise.

In I Will Teach You To Be Rich, Ramit Sethi outlines a three-month plan for asking for a raise.

  • Three months before you ask, start tracking everything you do and the results received.
  • Three months out, you also need to sit down with your boss and discuss expectations and opportunities to exceed.
  • Two months before, ask to sit down with your supervisor again. Show your results and ask what you can do to improve.
  • One month before, schedule a meeting with your manager and mention that you want to discuss compensation. Ask what information you need to bring to the meeting. You should be able to judge at this point whether s/he is receptive to the idea.
  • Two weeks before, role play with co-workers or good friends with business experience. Get competitive salaries for your position. www.salary.com and www.payscale.com are the ones listed in the book. (Note from me: I use Robert Half’s salary guide, but there are others specific to industries. Depending on where you live, the cost of living is different so the salaries may not be relevant. For example, the average site controller salary (nationwide) is $90,000, but the cost of living in my area is 84 (100 is average.) Multiply the 90,000 by .84 to get the salary average in your area, which is $75,600 using this example.

If your request is denied, the next step could be to look for another job. Since most employers ask for your salary history, a 10% raise is common.

Erin Burt with Kiplinger magazine gives similar advice, but not in the 3 month time frame. She advocates using timing after a big win on your behalf. Your boss will be happy with your performance and may be more open. She also mentions considering additional benefits and perks in lieu of a salary increase.

I should have used either pieces of advice, but I was chomping at the bits to get started.

What steps have you taken to successfully get a raise?

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